watchOS 2 now available to the public

After a brief delay, Apple has released watchOS 2. The latest version of Apple's operating system for the Apple Watch, watchOS 2 is available for download through the Apple Watch companion app on iOS 9. Accordingly, you'll need to update your phone to iOS 9 before you can update your Apple Watch to watchOS 2.

watchOS 2 brings a number of improvements to the Apple Watch experience. Notably, developers can now create apps that run natively on the watch. The update also includes a new Nightstand mode, along with support for Apple Music.

For more on watchOS 2, be sure to read the iMore review. You can also discuss the update with the community in our Apple Watch forums.

After a brief delay, Apple has released watchOS 2. The latest version of Apple's operating system for the Apple Watch, watchOS 2 is available for download through the Apple Watch companion app on iOS 9. Accordingly, you'll need to update your phone to iOS 9 before you can update your Apple Watch to watchOS 2.

watchOS 2 brings a number of improvements to the Apple Watch experience. Notably, developers can now create apps that run natively on the watch. The update also includes a new Nightstand mode, along with support for Apple Music.

For more on watchOS 2, be sure to read the iMore review. You can also discuss the update with the community in our Apple Watch forums.

This update contains new features and capabilities for users and developers including the following:

  • New watch faces and timekeeping features
    • Time-lapse videos of Hong Kong, London, Mack Lake, New York, Shanghai, and Paris
    • Photo and Photo Album so you can see your favorite images every time you raise your wrist, including support for Live Photos
    • Time Travel with the Digital Crown to see what's coming in the future or what's happened in the past
    • Nightstand Mode so your Watch can be used as a besdside alarm clock
    • 9 new colors to customize your watch face, and a new multicolor Modular face
    • Support for third-party apps to create complications
  • Siri improvements
    • Start a specific workout, get transit directions, or ask to see a glance
    • Support for FaceTime audio calling and replying to email
    • Support for HomeKit to control supported devices in your home using Siri
    • New support for Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), and Norway
  • Activity and Workout improvements
    • Workouts from third party apps on the watch can be included in your Activity rings
    • Activity rings, workouts, and achievements can be shared from the Activity app on the iPhone
    • Interactive achievements
    • On-demand weekly summary
    • Mut Activity notifications for one day
    • Workouts saved automatically
  • Apple Pay and Wallet improvements
    • Support for Discover cards
    • Support for rewards cards and store credit and debit cards
    • Add passes to Wallet directly from third party apps on your Watch
  • Friends and Digital Touch improvements
    • Add more than 12 Friends directly from Apple Watch
    • Multiple Friends' groups that you can name
    • Send sketches using multiple colors
    • New options for animated emoji
  • Maps improvements
    • Transit view, showing transit lines, stations and intermodal connections in select major cities
    • View the list of directions for your current route
    • View station placards with departure information
  • Music improvements
    • New Beats 1 button to start playing the 24/7 radio station
    • New Quick Play button to play a variety of songs from Apple Music
  • Replay to emails using dictation, emoji, or smart replies customized specifically for email
  • Make and receive calls using FaceTime audio
  • Support for Wi-Fi calling without iPhone in proximity on participating carriers
  • Activation Lock prevents anyone from activating your Apple Watch without your Apple ID and password
  • New developer capabilities including
    • Native SDK to build faster and more powerful apps running natively on Apple Watch
    • Access to accelerometer to more granularly track your motion
    • Access to heart rate sensor for use during a workout
    • Access to microphone and speaker to record and play audio
    • Access to Taptic Engine with 8 different types of Haptic feedback
    • Access to the Digital Crown for more precise controls
    • Ability to play video directly on Apple Watch
    • Support for running apps without iPhone in proximity, including access to networking capabilities when connected to known Wi-Fi networks
    • Complications on the watch face
    • Workouts from apps can be counted towards Activity rings
    • Workouts from apps can be included in Activity app on iPhone
  • New support for system language in English (India), Finnish, Indonesian, Norwegian, and Polish
  • New support for dictation in Dutch (Belgium), English (Ireland, Philippines, South Africa). French (Belgium), German (Austria), Spanish (Chile, Colombia)
  • New support for smart replies in Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong, Taiwan), Danish, Dutch, English (New Zealand, Singapore), Japanese, Korean, Swedish, Thai

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222